B.C. thrift shops open again for business

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June 3, 2020 | News | Volume 24 Issue 12
Amy Rinner Waddell | B.C. Correspondent
Despite the rain, customers line up patiently to enter the Mennonite Central Committee Centre thrift shop in Abbotsford on re-opening day, May 25. Thrift shops in B.C. had been closed since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Amy Rinner Waddell)

After more than two months of being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the 10 Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) British Columbia thrift shops were reopening with limited hours by the end of May.

“As the province plans to ease restrictions gradually after the May long weekend, we at Centre Thrift are now taking steps towards reopening in line with B.C. provincial government directives,” explained a post on the provincial MCC Facebook page earlier in May. 

Several shops opened for business on May 20. The Mission thrift store announced its opening for June 1. 

MCC Centre Thrift in Abbotsford opened May 25, with the first hour reserved for seniors and those with underlying health conditions. Shoppers waited patiently outside until being admitted into the building in limited numbers. The store had opened one day a week before to receive donations. Due to limited staff and volunteers, plans to take donations on opening day were put on hold.

Various stores announced procedures to keep volunteers and customers safe. Some of these included installing hand-sanitizing stations at the door, closing washrooms and fitting rooms, and holding all donations in quarantine for 72 hours before sale.

All locations announced they were following national MCC thrift shop guidelines, including physical distancing in the store, following directional signs, encouraging shoppers to pick up only what they need and asking those feeling unwell to stay home.

Do you have a story idea about Mennonites in B.C.? Send it to Amy Rinner Waddell at bc@canadianmennonite.org.

Despite the rain, customers line up patiently to enter the Mennonite Central Committee Centre thrift shop in Abbotsford on re-opening day, May 25. Thrift shops in B.C. had been closed since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Amy Rinner Waddell)

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